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SECURE SYNOPSIS: 08 AUGUST 2019


SECURE SYNOPSIS: 08 AUGUST 2019


NOTE: Please remember that following ‘answers’ are NOT ‘model answers’. They are NOT synopsis too if we go by definition of the term. What we are providing is content that both meets demand of the question and at the same time gives you extra points in the form of background information.


Topic:   The Freedom Struggle – its various stages and important contributors /contributions from different parts of the country.

1) ‘August Kranti’ was an important milestone in the Indian freedom struggle for it was more of a spontaneous revolt than a planned movement of Congress. Discuss.(250 words)

Reference

 

Why this question:

India is observing the 77th anniversary of Quit India Movement today on August 8.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must discuss in what way quit India movement was significant. 

Directive:

DiscussThis is an all-encompassing directive – you have to debate on paper by going through the details of the issues concerned by examining each one of them. You have to give reasons for both for and against arguments.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Give a brief background of quit India movement – last mass movement for independence, call of Do or Die given by Gandhiji, World war 2 had heightened fears and sensitivities.

Body:

  • It was 77 years ago that All India Congress Committee approved the ‘Quit India Resolution’ in Bombay Session, paving way for a mass movement to attain independence.
    As a precursor to India’s independence, the Quit India Movement was launched at Mumbai’s historic Gowalia Tank Maidan, now popularly known as August Kranti Maidan on 8th August 1942.
    Mahatma Gandhi’s clarion call of ‘Do or Die’ inspired thousands of party workers but also created a frenzy among the British who rushed to imprison the entire Congress leadership.

Conclusion:

Conclude with reassertion of the movement even as of today.

Introduction:

‘August Kranti’ or the Quit India movement was started by Mahatma Gandhi in 1942 but drew protests from the All-India Congress Committee demanding what Gandhi called was “An Orderly British Withdrawal” from India. Mahatma Gandhi’s clarion call of ‘Do or Die’ inspired thousands of party workers but also created frenzy among the British who rushed to imprison the entire Congress leadership. This forced the British to act immediately and soon all the senior INC leaders were imprisoned without trial within hours of Gandhi’s speech.

Body:

Unfolding of August Kranti:

  • Several national leaders like Mahatma Gandhi, Abdul Kalam Azad, Jawaharlal Nehru and Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel were arrested.
  • The Congress was declared an unlawful association, leaders were arrested and its offices all over the country were raided and their funds were frozen.
  • The first half of the movement was peaceful with demonstrations and processions. The peaceful protest was carried till Mahatma Gandhi’s release.
  • The second half of the movement was violent with raids and setting fire at post offices, government buildings and railway stations. Lord Linlithgow adopted the policy of violence.
  • The Viceroy’s Council of Muslims, Communist Party and Americans supported Britishers.

 Significance of Quit India movement:

  • The movement was carried forward without the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi, or any other leader, all of whom were jailed on its commencement.
  • All sections of people participated in huge numbers.
  • Decentralized command was the prime significance of this movement.
  • The British began to seriously think about the issue of Indian independence after seeing the upsurge among the masses.
  • It changed the nature of political negotiations with British Empire in 1940s which ultimately paved the way of India’s independence.
  • The slogan of ‘Do or Die’ remains the most Krantikari slogan to this day.
  • It is also a symbol of political betrayal. Muslim League, Hindu Mahasabha, Rashtriya Swayam Sewak Sangh (RSS) and even the undivided Communist party opposed Gandhi as well as his call for complete civil disobedience.

Drawbacks of the movement:

  • Use of violent methods by the volunteers and participants.
  • The movement was crushed in a relatively short period of time by the British.
  • Lack of leadership did not lead to well-coordinated guidance and progress of the movement, with the intensity restricted to a few pockets.

Relevance today:

  • In 1940s the highest and the lowest in the society were fighting for one single ideal. There is no national ideal today.
  • There are ideals of the sectoral society as per their power and position acquired over past 150 years. The idea of India is sacrificed to sectoral and sectional interests.
  • Hence it should be taken care that the values of liberty and freedom should not override values sovereignty, integrity and unity of society and nation.
  • A sentiment of unity amongst all the sections of Indians is needed while conquering the challenges of 21st century India which mainly are problems of poverty, communalism and corruption that should quit India.

Conclusion:

Despite its failure, the Quit India movement is considered significant as it made the British Government realize that India was ungovernable in the long run. Post the Second World War, the question that was most prominent for the British was on how to exit India peacefully.


Topic: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

2) Discuss the key features of recently passed Consumer Protection Bill, 2019. What are the issues and concerns involved? Discuss along with significance of the same.(250 words)

Reference

Why this question:

The Rajya Sabha on Tuesday passed the Consumer Protection Bill, 2019 that provides for the establishment of authorities for the timely and effective administration and settlement of consumer disputes.

Key demand of the question:

The question is straightforward, one has to first list down the key features of the Consumer Protection Bill, 2019.then discuss the concerns associated along with significance of the act.

Directive:

DiscussThis is an all-encompassing directive – you have to debate on paper by going through the details of the issues concerned by examining each one of them. You have to give reasons for both for and against arguments.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

State that the Bill seeks to replace the three-decade-old Consumer Protection Act, 1986.

Body:

Bring out the highlights of the bill – detail upon the key provisions.

Provide for a comparison of the current bill and the old 1986 act.

Then move on to discuss the lacunae involved and how these are to be overcome. Discuss the significance of the bill, how can it prove to be a landmark change in terms of consumer protection.

Conclusion:

What should be the way forward.

Introduction:

A new consumer protection bill provides for strict monitoring and punishment for misleading advertisements. It aims to empower consumer courts at the state and district level to disperse greater financial compensation to the consumers. The bill also has a provision for setting up an executive agency called central consumer protection authority with a mandate to carry out investigations into violations of consumer rights, recall of unsafe goods and services and discontinue unfair trade practices. The bill will replace the Consumer Protection Act of 1986.

Body:

The salient features of the Consumer Protection Bill 2018 are:

  • It defines the “consumer” as a person who buys any good or avails a service for a consideration.
  • The Bill covers transactions, both online and offline, and includes tele-shopping and multi-level marketing.
  • Definition of “consumer rights” in the Bill exhaustively covers the right to be protected against the marketing of goods, products or services that are hazardous to life and property.
  • It also focuses on the right to be informed about the quality, quantity, potency, purity, standard and price of goods, products or services, as the case may be, so as to protect a consumer against unfair trade practices.
  • It also includes the right to be assured, wherever possible, of access to a variety of goods, products or services at competitive prices.
  • It involves the right to seek redress against unfair or restrictive trade practices, or unscrupulous exploitation of consumers.

Significance:

  • Presently Consumers only have a single point of access to justice, which is time consuming. Additional swift executive remedies are proposed in the bill through Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA).
  • Deterrent punishment to check misleading advertisements and adulteration of products.
  • Product liability provision to deter manufacturers and service providers from delivering defective products or deficient services.
  • Ease of approaching Consumer Commission and Simplification of Adjudication process.
  • Scope for early disposal of cases through mediation.

 Issues involved:

  • The Bill does not address the fundamental problem of protracted and complicated litigation, the bane of consumer forums constituted under the Consumer Protection Act of 1986. Instead, it provides an alternative to the consumer forums, in the form of mediation.
  • The Bill does provide for a regulator, but there is no proper focus on the duties of the regulator.
  • Even the definition of ‘consumer rights’ in the Bill is not simple and straight forward, so that consumers at least know what their entitlements are.
  • It has penalty provisions for the endorsers and on the other it is giving them a route to get away because the clause of due diligence will act in their defence
  • It lags behind in tackling misleading advertisements endorsed by any celebrity
  • This step will act as a deterrent for manufacturers since the liability quotient has increased

Way Forward:

  • Time bound resolution of cases.
  • Consumer education and proper awareness building measures.
  • Several countries like Canada, Estonia have devised advertisement regulations for unhealthy foods targeted at children
  • Countries such as the UK, Ireland and Belgium have specifically banned celebrity endorsement of unhealthy foods. The impact of such restrictions has been reported to be significant.

Conclusion:

The emergence of global supply chain, rise in global trade and rapid development of e-commerce have led to a new delivery system for goods and services and also provided new options and opportunities for consumers. Misleading ads, tele-marketing, multi-level marketing, direct selling and e-commerce pose new challenges to consumer protection and will require appropriate and swift executive intervention to prevent consumer detriment. This bill is the step in the right direction in addressing these issues.


Topic:Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests .Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora

3) “Multilateral institutions have lived longer than their usefulness, now is the time for bilateral institutions.” Do you agree with the statement? Discuss in the context of the ongoing global trade war. (250 words)

Economictimes

 

Why this question: 

The question is in the backdrop of ongoing trade war between US and China.

Demand of the question:

The answer needs to provide for a detailed analysis on how the multilateral institutions are losing relevance in the current context of global trade wars and the bilateral institutions are the need of the hour.

Directive word: 

DiscussThis is an all-encompassing directive – you have to debate on paper by going through the details of the issues concerned by examining each one of them. You have to give reasons for both for and against arguments.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction

Write in a few lines about the ongoing trade war between US and China.

Body

Mention as the US-China trade war rapidly turns into a full-fledged economic war after Washington’s designation of China as a currency manipulator on 5 August, China appears to have an upper hand in holding out longer than the US.

Then move onto discuss how the role of multilateral institutions has been diminishing with escalating tensions between the two countries. Explain this has led to tinker upon the need for bilateral institutions.

Conclusion 

Conclude with way forward.

 

Introduction:

The escalating trade war between the U.S. and China is nudging the world economy toward its first recession in a decade with investors demanding politicians and central bankers act fast to change course.  The volatility in the world economic system suggests investors may be beginning to take threats of a trade war more seriously.

Body:

The global trade landscape is witnessing strong cross-currents. Trade sentiments are oscillating between sheer despair and scattered hope.

Multilateral institutions on the decline:

  • In the decades following World War II, the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade was the center of gravity for trade negotiations.
  • While that system wasn’t perfect, most of the world’s countries could at least participate, to one degree or another, in hammering out the rules of trade.
  • The multilateral trading order reached its heyday in 1995, with the creation of the World Trade Organization. But more recently, the system has weakened. Today, most of the world’s new agreements are struck between only two countries or within a single region.
  • Trade war will gravely undermine the rules-based multilateral system that has underpinned global prosperity since the end of World War II.
  • As the United States accuses China of predatory trading practices while doling out unilateral punishment, the trade organization tasked with preserving the peace appears marginalized.
  • Threats to WTO:
    • WTO is already under strain.
    • The collapse of the Doha round of trade talks in 2015, after many fruitless years, put needed reforms on hold indefinitely.
    • Disputes that might have been swept into a new trade round have fallen to the WTO’s dispute-resolution machinery, which is too slow and too frail to carry the burden.
    • The WTO has not kept pace with economic change.
  • As America is looking to pursue a mercantilist trade policy in defiance of the global trading system, other countries are bound to follow. That might not lead to an immediate collapse of the WTO, but it would gradually erode one of the foundations of the globalised economy.
  • Countries have shown little appetite for continuing the multilateral negotiations. E.g.: Trump hammered on regional accords, famously renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement and withdrawing from the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
  • There is a move away from multilateralism – in which many countries agree on certain trading principles – and toward bilateralism – which pits nation against nation, raising the stakes.

Rise in Bilateralism:

  • The administrations have given further credence to the notion that it favours bilateralism over multilateralism and protectionism over free trade. E.g.: USA
  • The clear preference is for bilateral deals where a country can use its market power to force concessions from its negotiating partners.
  • Bilateralism could help fix specific grievances with trading partners.
  • On the contrary, growing bilateralism also points to a breakdown in trust and the mechanisms of international co-operation.
  • Bilateral and regional deals are making it easier for large countries to use trade policy more explicitly as an arm of foreign and military policy.
  • Modern bilateral deals are not recreating the colonial systems of the past, but they do tend to center on major powers in what some scholars have called a “hub” and “spoke” pattern. The “hub” often enjoys significant influence over the “spoke,” and not just in commercial affairs. China’s overtures to African countries over a free trade deal, for example, are likely linked to its strategic interest in securing access to national resources.

Way forward:

  • Multilateral co-operation is needed to maintain an open global economy.
  • Some international issues simply cannot be fixed bilaterally. These include environmental issues such as climate change, critical economic issues like trade and the functioning of the international financial system.
  • One pernicious consequence of abandoning multilateralism is the mounting complexity and discriminatory nature of global trading arrangements.
  • Even though it is a lengthy and time consuming process, the settlement of disputes through international conventions and rules is the need of the hour.
  • One real benefit of the multilateral systems like WTO is that the same rules, more or less, apply to everyone.
  • Major trading powers, such as Japan and the EU, should continue to insist on the importance of maintaining a rules-based trading system, with the WTO at its core.
  • WTO dispute settlement resolution mechanism should be approached instead of unilateral decisions.
  • The benefit of the WTO process is that it prevents the damaging consequences of trade protectionism.
  • Nations can resolve their disputes through WTO instead of raising tariffs.
  • Trade disputes should be resolved within the WTO framework. As economists have pointed out, when assessing economic relationships, what matters is not a country’s bilateral trade balance with a specific trading partner but its overall trade balance with the rest of the world.

Conclusion:

If the rising number of bilateral deals become an instrument of security policy, and trade increasingly flows only to strategically friendly countries. Even without an emergency, the leaders of the world’s largest economies will need to rediscover the habit of co-operation or the world cannot come out of this intensified trade war.


Topic:  Important International institutions, agencies and fora- their structure, mandate.

4) Write a short note on United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA).(250 words)

Reference

Why this question:

Earlier this month, India contributed USD 5 million to the UN Palestine refugee agency and called for ensuring sustained fiscal support for the organization’s work.

Key demand of the question:

The answer is straightforward and expects one to discuss in depth the mandate, genesis and relevance of UNRWA.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Discuss in brief the coming of UNRWA.

Body:

Discuss the following aspects – 

  • It was established in 1949, following the 1948 Arab-Israeli conflict. 
  • In the absence of a solution to the Palestine refugee problem, the General Assembly has repeatedly renewed UNRWA’s mandate, most recently extending it until 30 June 2020.
  • What is its mandate? – To support Palestinian refugees, and their patrilineal descendants, who fled or were expelled from their homes during the 1948 Palestine war and 1967 Six Day war.
  • What services does it provide? – It provides education, health care, and social services to the population it supports.

Conclusion:

Conclude with significance of the agency.

Introduction:

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) is a relief and human development agency which supports more than 5 million registered Palestinian refugees, and their patrilineal descendants, who fled or were expelled from their homes during the 1948 Palestine war as well as those who fled or were expelled during and following the 1967 Six Day war.

Body:

India has recently contributed USD 5 million to UN Palestine refugee agency. The contribution was provided in support of UNRWA’s core programmes and services, including education, health care, and relief and social services.

It is the only UN agency dedicated to helping refugees from a specific region or conflict and is separate from UNHCR.

Mandate of UNRWA:

UNRWA’s contemporary mandate is to provide relief, human development and protection services to Palestine refugees and persons displaced by the 1967 hostilities in its fields of operation: Jordan, Lebanon, the Syrian Arab Republic, West Bank and the Gaza Strip. UNRWA’s mandate has been repeatedly renewed by the UN General Assembly.

Funding:

UNRWA is funded almost entirely by voluntary contributions from UN Member States. UNRWA also receives some funding from the Regular Budget of the United Nations, which is used mostly for international staffing costs.

Functions:

  • UNRWA has been providing health, education, relief and social services, as well as emergency humanitarian assistance, across its five fields of operation Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, West Bank and the Gaza Strip since 1950.
  • The Agency currently serves 5.4 million Palestinian refugees 20% of the world’s refugees.
  • UNRWA has launched a series of emergency appeals for emergency food, employment and cash assistance.
  • The emergency programme serves over one million people in the West Bank and Gaza Strip who have been impoverished by the conflict, violence and restrictions.
  • UNRWA provides this emergency assistance in addition to its regular programme services in the areas of relief and social services, education and health and other assistance.

Challenges faced by UNRWA:

  • The UN agency is going through a difficult financial situation due to voluntary contributions from a limited donor base.
  • There is a projected shortfall of more than USD 200 million against a funding requirement of approximately USD 1.2 billion for UNRWA this year.
  • The shortfall may impact the agency’s ability to provide essential services to the Palestine refugees, notably in the fields of education, health, and assistance to the most vulnerable refugees.
  • Besides, a corruption scandal involving sexual misconduct, nepotism, retaliation against whistleblowers and lots of business-class travel has gripped the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East.

Conclusion:

                In 2011 UNRWA agreed to be assessed as a multilateral organisation by The Multilateral Organisation Performance Assessment Network (MOPAN). The UNRWA is committed to fostering the human development of Palestine refugees by helping them to acquire knowledge and skills, Lead long and healthy lives, achieve decent standards of living, Enjoy human rights to the fullest possible extent.


Topic:Various Security forces and agencies and their mandate

5) Discuss the key mandate carried out by Assam rifles. What are the issues and concerns surrounding the dual control of the same? Critically analyse while suggesting solutions to the same.(250 words)

Reference

Why this question:

The question aims to examine the mandate of the security force – Assam rifles, the issues surrounding it.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must discuss the significance of Assam rifles as an internal security force, the issues and concerns involved in it and solutions to tackle the same.

Directive:

DiscussThis is an all-encompassing directive – you have to debate on paper by going through the details of the issues concerned by examining each one of them. You have to give reasons for both for and against arguments.

Critically analyzeWhen asked to analyse, you have to examine methodically the structure or nature of the topic by separating it into component parts and present them as a whole in a summary. When ‘critically’ is suffixed or prefixed to a directive, one needs to look at the good and bad of the topic and give a fair judgement.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Begin with brief intro on genesis of Assam Rifles.

Body:

Discussion should include the following: 

Explain the genesis – The Assam Rifles was established in 1835. It is considered as the oldest of all paramilitary forces. 

Significance – This force plays a crucial role in North East India, handling counterinsurgency and border security operations. They are also guarding the 1,643 km long Indo-Myanmar border since 2002.

 Though it is classified as a Central Armed Police Force, its tactics, training, equipment and operational mandate closely mirror those of the Indian Army. It is headed by an Army officer of the rank of Lieutenant General. It currently reports to the Ministry of Home Affairs.

Discuss the issues involved with respect to dual control and others.

Conclusion:

Conclude with way forward.

Introduction:

Assam Rifles which is also referred to as the Sentinels of North East is the oldest paramilitary force of India.  The unit can trace its lineage back to a paramilitary police force that was formed under the British in 1835 called Cachar Levy. There are currently 46 battalions of AR under the Ministry of Home Affairs. The noted anthropologist Verrier Elwin once described Assam Rifles as “friends of the hill people”.

Body:

Key mandate of Assam Rifles:

  • They perform many roles including the provision of internal security under the control of the army through the conduct of counter insurgency and border security operations.
  • Provision of aid to the civilians in times of emergency
  • Provision of communications, medical assistance and education in remote areas.
  • In times of war they can also be used as a combat force to secure rear areas if needed.
  • Since 2002, they are also guarding the 1,643 km long Indo-Myanmar border.

Issues and concerns:

  • Dual control: Assam Rifles is under the administrative control of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) while the operational control lies with the Ministry of Defence.
  • High Attrition: The number of Assam Rifles personnel taking up voluntary retirement in the past three years has increased more than six times. This is due to high level of stress and strain caused by continuous deployment in the remote and insurgency-hit Northeast.
  • Separation from family, problems linked to increased number of nuclear family structure, maintaining higher living standards.
  • Managing multiple households, children education and related lifestyle diseases.
  • They also struggle with poor roads and communication network, problems in food and safe drinking water and lack of proper channel to air their grievances without disclosing their identity to their commanding officers.

Solutions:

  • Quick resolution of the issue of control over the force.
  • Better facilities for soldiers in terms of food, stay, safety and security devices.
  • Use of technology to reduce the casualties caused to the soldiers.
  • Timely vacation by efficient planning of utilization of human resource.
  • Developing infrastructure to reduce the deployment and reach time in case of exigencies.
  • Grievance redressal mechanism to listen to the woes of the soldiers.

Conclusion:

Given that the Assam Rifles has been deployed in the Northeast since its inception, no other forces in India is more experienced or has a better understanding of the ground scenario. This shows the imperative nature of Assam rifles in guarding our north eastern border.


Topic: Various Security forces and agencies and their mandate

6) Discuss the critical role played by National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) in providing a specialist response to a threatening disaster situation or disaster in the country.(250 words)

Reference

Why this question:

The recent disasters ranging from earthquakes to floods have necessitated discussion around the role played by NDRF in the country.

Key demand of the question:

Explain the role played by NDRF.

Directive:

DiscussThis is an all-encompassing directive – you have to debate on paper by going through the details of the issues concerned by examining each one of them. You have to give reasons for both for and against arguments.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) is a specialized force constituted “for the purpose of specialist response to a threatening disaster situation or disaster” under the Disaster Management Act, 2005.

Body:

Explain in brief the composition of the NDRF -is a force of 12 battalions, organized on para-military lines, and manned by persons on deputation from the para-military forces of India: three Border Security Force, three Central Reserve Police Force, two Central Industrial Security Force, two Indo-Tibetan Border Police and two Sashastra Seema Bal.

Discuss the functional parameters- The aim of the National Disaster Management Authority is to build a safer and disaster resilient India by developing a holistic, proactive, multi-disaster and technology driven strategy for disaster management. 

This has to be achieved through a culture of prevention, mitigation and preparedness to generate a prompt and efficient response at the time of disasters. This national vision inter alia, aims at inculcating a culture of preparedness among all stakeholders.

Quote the recent case studies where it has played crucial role.

Conclusion:

Conclude by reasserting its importance.

Introduction:

The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) is a specialised force constituted “for the purpose of specialist response to a threatening disaster situation or disaster” under the Disaster Management Act, 2005. The “Apex Body for Disaster Management” in India is the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA). The Chairman of the NDMA is the Prime Minister.

Body:

At present, National Disaster Response Force consists of 12 battalions, three each from the BSF and CRPF and two each from CISF, ITBP and SSB. Each battalion have 18 self-contained specialist search and rescue teams of 45 personnel each including engineers, technicians, electricians, dog squads and medical/paramedics. The total strength of each battalion is 1,149. All the 12 battalions have been equipped and trained to respond natural as well as man-made disasters. Battalions are also trained and equipped for response during chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) emergencies.

Objectives of NDRF:

  • To fight all natural disasters including radiological, biological, chemical and nuclear disasters.
  • Conduct search and rescue operations in the event of any natural catastrophe.

Role of NDRF:

Pre-disaster:

  • Will impart disaster management training to local police, administration, local bodies and other stake holders.
  • Will organize community awareness and preparedness programme during familiarization and recce of vulnerable areas in the Area of Responsibility.
  • Will impart training to teachers and school children in the management of natural disasters.

During-disaster:

  • Pro-active deployment at level-III disaster.
  • Provide hi-tech specialist response during search and rescue operations.
  • Provide immediate relief with available men and material in the affected areas.

Post-disaster:

  • To assist states in recovery and maintenance of normalcy at the areas of disaster.

Conclusion:

Since its inception NDRF has continued to win hearts of millions of countrymen, by demonstrating its expertise and compassion while handling disaster situations. The list of such challenges is long. The practice of “proactive availability” of this Force to the States and that of “pre-positioning”, in a threatening disaster situations have immensely helped minimise damage, caused due to natural calamities in the country.


Topic:  corporate governance.

7) Discuss the role and significance of independent directors for corporate governance.(250 words)

Economictimes

Why this question:

The question is in the context of corporate governance.

Key demand of the question:

Explain what is the role of an independent director in the corporate governance paradigm.

Directive:

DiscussThis is an all-encompassing directive – you have to debate on paper by going through the details of the issues concerned by examining each one of them. You have to give reasons for both for and against arguments.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction: 

Define briefly what is corporate governance.

Body:

Discuss who is an independent director – As per section 149 (6) of The Companies Act, 2013, Independent Director means any director other than a managing director or whole-time director or a nominee director.

Explain the role of independent directors in general – Independent directors act as a guide to the company. Their roles broadly include improving corporate credibility and governance standards functioning as a watchdog, and playing a vital role in risk management. Independent directors play an active role in various committees set up by company to ensure good governance.

Explain thus the Need to have independent directors on the board.

Conclusion:

Conclude that relation of Independent Directors with the Corporate Governance Principles is crucial for good governance in the corporate world.

Introduction:

An independent director (ID) is defined as a director on a company’s Board other than a managing director, whole-time director or a nominee director. They are required to take an autonomous view of the on-goings in a company while overseeing its management.

Body:

Role of Independent Directors:

  • The ID is envisaged as a watchdog on the Board to ensure good corporate governance.
  • SEBI brought in the concept of IDs through clause 49 of the Listing Agreement, 2000, which deals with corporate governance norms for listed companies.
  • They act as the connecting link between the management of the company and its many diverse stakeholders.
  • They are required to play moderator to the conflicting interests that arise in these relationships.
  • Recent instances such as the Tata-Mistry spat or the Infosys Board shake-up show that more needs to be done.
  • IDs are designed to act as trustees of shareholders, especially minority shareholders.
  • They are expected to take an outsider’s view and ensure checks and balances in areas such as strategy, performance, key appointments, remuneration, etc.

Significance:

  • The presence of Independent directors on the Board of a Company would improve corporate governance.
  • Higher corporate governance standards make investors more comfortable.
  • Enhanced governance may positively impact credit rating of the company, helping lower its borrowing costs.
  • This is important for public companies or companies with a significant public interest.
  • IDs would be able to bring an element of objectivity to Board process in the general interests of the company

Conclusion:

A committee of IDs should meet regularly, and bring to the board instances of violations of law and ethics in corporate affairs. Shareholder activism must improve. Currently, most shareholders are silent spectators to happenings in corporations. The corporation should emerge as a social institution, with the directors having duties and responsibilities towards society, observing not only the letter of the law but also the spirit of ethics.